What you need to know about cockroaches
When you think of cockroaches you are probably reminded of faraway places where the weather is hot and the cockroaches are large. Either that or dirty restaurants that don’t keep their kitchens very clean. They’re not very pleasant creatures, especially if you aren’t fond of creepy crawlies. Unfortunately, they are very much present in the UK and can find their way into your home if the conditions are right. We take a look at some cockroach facts and what you should do if you find one or more in your home.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Blattodea
Cockroaches are hardy creatures that can survive in the cold climate of the Artic to the warmer tropical climates of much hotter countries. There are around 4,500 species of cockroaches in the world and more are being discovered all the time. Only recently a new species was discovered in New York. Only a handful them are actually considered pests.
Those that are considered to be pests include the German, American, and Oriental cockroaches as well as the brown cockroach which can all be found in the UK. While they all have very similar characteristics they are actually fairly straight forward to tell apart if you know what you are looking for. Cockroaches are not only not nice to see scuttling across the kitchen floor, they are also known to carry diseases. If you see one in your home, you need to trace where it came from and call in the experts. If you have seen one there is likely to be more.
Origins of the cockroach
Cockroaches can be dated back to the Carboniferous period, 320 million years ago. Like most pests they originate in countries like Asia and find their way to far flung lands where they soon make themselves at home and multiply.
A group of cockroaches is called an intrusion. The make cockroach has a narrower thorax and is longer in length than the female.
You will generally find cockroaches indoors in areas like basements, cellars, kitchens and other areas which are warm and damp. The Oriental cockroach can survive outdoors but mostly you will find them hiding away in cracks and crevices in daylight hours.
Cockroaches are known to carry organisms which can cause food poisoning. They feed on pretty much anything including rubbish, faeces and human food remains. Their allergens can also trigger allergies and asthma. You should exercise good hygiene in order to prevent them making a home in your home.
The lifespan of a cockroach depends on their living conditions. They can survive for approximately a month without food but cannot survive more than a few days to two weeks without water. Generally the female cockroach can live for approximately two years with the male only around one year.
Some species of female cockroaches will mate just the once and can remain pregnant for life. Many will lay their eggs after mating in a capsule. Once the eggs are nearly ready to hatch, the mother will drop the case close to a source of food or glue it to a surface using secretions from their mouth.
Interesting cockroach facts
- A cockroach can live for up to a week without its head
- Female cockroaches can mate once and stay pregnant for life
- They can reach speeds of up to 3 miles per hour.
- The world’s largest cockroach is South American and is six inches long with a wingspan of a foot
What to do if you have a cockroach problem
If you see one cockroach you have to ask yourself where it came from and why it is in your house. If there is one there are likely to be others. It can be almost impossible to identify and treat a cockroach infestation if you don’t know what you are dealing with. Call in the experts who will be able to resolve the issue and offer advice on prevention for the future.